Synopses & Reviews
After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, troublemaker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given an alternative: a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. This program—called Circle Justice—is based on Native American traditions that provide healing for the criminal mind. To avoid serious jail time, Cole resolves to go. While there, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and left for dead. Thoughts of his abusive parents, helpless Peter, and his violent anger cause him to examine the root of his troubled ways.
Author Ben Mikaelson delivers a poignant depiction of the vicious cycle of violence and one boy's journey to healing.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
"[Cole's] solitary life on the island is just the ticket for Paulsen fans, who will appreciate the survival story." The Bulletin
“An excellent companion to Gary Paulsens Hatchet and Allan Eckerts Incident at Hawks Hill.” ALA Booklist
“[Coles story] will fascinate young and old, and have everyone waiting for the sequel.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Mikaelsens portrayal of this angry, manipulative, damaged teen is dead on.” School Library Journal (starred review)
“Mikaelsen paints a realistic portrait of an unlikable young punk.” Kirkus Reviews
Will the attack of the Spirit Bear destroy Cole's life or save his soul?
Cole Matthews has been fighting, stealing, and raising hell for years. So his punishment for beating Peter Driscal senseless is harsh. Given a choice between prison and Native American Circle Justice, Cole chooses Circle Justice: He'll spend one year in complete isolation on a remote Alaskan island. In the first days of his banishment, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and nearly dies. Now there's no one left to save Cole, but Cole himself.
About the Author
Ben Mikaelsen is the winner of the International Reading Association Award and the Western Writers of America Spur Award. His novels have been nominated for and won many state reader's choice awards. These novels include Red Midnight, Rescue Josh McGuire, Sparrow Hawk Red, Stranded, Countdown, Petey, and Tree Girl. Ben's articles and photos appear in numerous magazines around the world. Ben lives near Bozeman, Montana, with his 700-pound black bear, Buffy.